Upstate News

December 3, 2007
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Richard Cross, Ph D., named SUNY Distinguished Professor

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Richard Cross, Ph.D., professor and chair of biochemistry and molecular biology at SUNY Upstate Medical University, internationally known for his work in the field of bioenergetics, the study of biological energy transfer and conversion at the cellular and molecular levels, has been named a SUNY Distinguished Professor. The honor is the highest accolade SUNY awards to faculty. Cross will be honored officially as a Distinguished Professor during a ceremony Dec. 8 in Albany.

Cross was a key contributor to the work on ATP synthase for which Paul Boyer shared a Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1997.

According to SUNY, Cross is SUNY Upstate’s first Distinguished Professor. SUNY Upstate has had numerous faculty members selected as Distinguished Teaching Professor and Distinguished Service Professors, but never before has a faculty member been named a Distinguished Professor.

Faculty who receive Distinguished Professor designation have achieved national or international prominence, established reputation in their field of expertise and demonstrate consistently extraordinary accomplishment throughout their career.

“This is a very well deserved honor that reflects Dr. Cross’ substantial scientific achievements,” said Steven Scheinman, M.D., SUNY Upstate senior vice president and dean of the College of Medicine. “Rich Cross is our longest serving department chair and he remains a role model for mentoring and supporting the career development of his faculty. He is a leader on the campus and within SUNY, and this institution takes great pride in this significant recognition of Dr. Cross’ accomplishments.”

Cross, a member of the SUNY Upstate faculty since 1973, has served as chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology since 1982.

His current research focus is in energy transducing membrane systems: the mechanism and regulation of ATP synthesis by oxidative phosphorylation. He is supported by a merit award from the National Institutes of Health for his work regarding the structure and mechanism of FoF1-ATP Synthases.

Cross received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Hartwick College in 1966 and his doctorate from Yale University in 1970. His postdoctoral training was completed in 1973 at the UCLA Molecular Biology Institute where he worked in Boyer’s laboratory. Boyer was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on ATPases. Cross’s long-term interactions with Boyer played a significant role in that achievement. Cross spent several mini-sabbaticals with Boyer and one of his graduate students moved on to Boyer’s lab for post-doctoral work.

Cross served many years on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and the Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes. He also holds memberships in the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the American Chemical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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